County Government

Supervisors to vote on combining assessor, clerk-recorder offices

By From page A3 | November 03, 2013

Yolo County supervisors will decide Tuesday whether to merge two elected offices — county assessor and clerk-recorder — into one position overseeing elections as well.

Currently, Freddie Oakley serves as clerk-recorder and registrar of voters and Joel Butler as assessor. Both are up for re-election in June with their current terms expiring at the end of 2014.

State law allows supervisors to consolidate the offices via an ordinance, which they will vote on Tuesday. If approved, the change would take place after Oakley and Butler conclude their current terms in office.

In consolidating the two offices, supervisors are looking to save money and improve customer service.

Both the assessor and county recorder deal primarily with real property — the assessor with setting property values and the recorder with filing and maintaining records related to land transactions, sales, liens, purchases and easements.

In her current role as county clerk and registrar of voters, Oakley also issues marriage licenses and files fictitious business name statements, grand jury reports and other documents, as well as maintaining documents, registering voters and conducting elections.

Twenty-six California counties have combined the assessor and recorder offices, 16 have added clerk functions and eight have added registrar of voters.

Comments by supervisors during previous meetings indicate the ordinance will pass, with only Supervisor Jim Provenza of Davis having voiced opposition.

Provenza has expressed concern that the elections office could get lost in a large department focused heavily on real property and that appointing someone to oversee elections would be a mistake.

Oakley has said she will seek re-election whether the offices are consolidated or not while Butler remained undecided in September.

The board meeting gets underway at 9 a.m. on Tuesday in the Board of Supervisors’ chambers at the County Administration Building, 625 Court St., in Woodland.

— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at [email protected] or 530-747-8051. Follow her on Twitter at @ATernusBellamy

Anne Ternus-Bellamy

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